New York (May. 17)
American citizens are prevented from pursuing business interests in the Middle East by “obstructive tactics” on the part of the Egyptian Government, Dr. Israel Goldstein, acting chairman of the executive committee of the American Jewish Conference, charged at a press conference today.
“The Egyptian Ministry in Washington is blockading trade and communication with Palestine by its arbitrary refusal to grant transit visas to Americans desiring passage through Egypt an route to Palestine,” Dr. Goldstein declared. “Egyptian officials in this country have practiced unfriendly discrimination against our citizens by first imposing impossible conditions to the granting of transit visas, and, effective May 11, by refusing to grant such visas on any grounds. The fact that such discrimination appears to have been applied only to Jews serves to emphasize the serious import of Egyptian policy.”
He called upon the U.S. State Department to make vigorous representations for the protection of the interests of American nationals, pointing out that Egyptian tactics “interfered with American economic interests in Palestine.” He revealed that more than 200 American Jews, among them veterans on their way to Palestine to study under the G.I. Bill of Rights, businessmen and tourists, who had been scheduled to depart for the Holy Land on the S.S. Vulcania May 11, were forced to cancel their passage because they were refused Egyptian transit visas.